Results 1–20 of 4183 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Lord Darling of Roulanish

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: With permission, Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a statement on today's announcements on bank lending. The House will, I hope, understand that it was necessary to issue a market notice this morning in the usual way. In the last few months our priorities have been: first, to prevent the collapse of the banking system; secondly, to support the economy; and, thirdly, to ensure that we get...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: Let me deal with the various points that the hon. Gentleman made. First, let me deal with his point about the bank rescue scheme that we put in place last October. His criticism would have much more strength if, in fact, he had not at the time supported what we were doing. There was cross-party consensus that what we did to recapitalise British banks was the right thing to do, because we...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: I agree with the hon. Gentleman to this extent: the key for us, as for other Governments, is to get lending going into the wider economy. But I disagree with him in that I think that that has to be done not just through one particular bank, but through the banking system in general. The proposals that I have made aim to do that. The hon. Gentleman asked a number of questions. He asked about...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: I am grateful to my right hon. Friend. He is absolutely right that the Government have to continue to do whatever is necessary to get credit flowing. As I said before, my guess is that there is no single solution, and a range of measures will be necessary. However, it is absolutely imperative because our recovery, and the recovery of economies throughout the world, depends on credit flowing again.

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: The Government acquired their shareholding in RBS about five weeks ago. A new management team was put in, and a new chief executive, and one of their jobs was to go through the books and find out what their liabilities were. Until that time we did not have the power to go in and conduct that examination, because it was a privately owned bank; it was not owned by the state. That has been...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: My right hon. Friend has a long and distinguished record of putting in place measures to help people on low incomes who have found themselves in the hands of loan sharks. There are two aspects to this issue. One relates to the specific and quantifiable commitments on increasing lending. The other thing that irritates people is the banks' conduct of business and the way in which they...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: If the hon. Gentleman just thinks about it for one moment, he will remember that in October, the banking system and individual banks were facing collapse. I suppose we could have said, "Let's consider our position. Let's wait for several weeks or months while we carry out some due diligence and see what happens." We were in a position last October where we had to act immediately and...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: My right hon. Friend has indeed been in correspondence with me on this subject. I repeat that I would be very happy to meet him to discuss it further. As I said in that correspondence, the question turns on just how much risk the state should be prepared to take on what might be a long-term basis. A balance has to be struck. In the position that we face, every Government will have to do...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: As I have just explained to the hon. Member for Windsor (Adam Afriyie), we had to take action very quickly and in a very short period. I think that the hon. Member for Sevenoaks (Mr. Fallon), like most of his colleagues, supported us at that time.

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: As my right hon. Friend knows, the banks in which we have taken shareholdings do have restrictions on the pay of their boards of directors. I agree that there needs to be an overhaul of supervision and regulation, and that rules need to be toughened up to reflect the reality of how banks are now developing in this country and others. I certainly agree that far greater international...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: I would have to write to the hon. Gentleman on that.

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: The purpose of the recapitalisation in October was mainly to ensure that the banking system was able to function. [Interruption.] I know that that is what it was, because that was precisely why I agreed to it. In return for that, the banks in which we took shareholdings had to agree to maintain their level of lending. RBS, the only bank in which we have had such a shareholding for the past...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: The hon. Gentleman is right to say that a lot of lending came from foreign banks. Indeed, it came from what his colleague the First Minister of Scotland referred to, until recent times, as "the arc of prosperity". Unfortunately, the arc of prosperity is not providing the level of funding that it did in the past. Part of my announcement today, implementing the recommendations of the report...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: First, I would be grateful if my right hon. Friend would let me have a copy of that letter. It is precisely because we are concerned about the way in which some banks are dealing with their customers that we have put in place arrangements to deal with those individual cases to try to resolve them, and it would be useful to have that information. On the general point, I have made it clear that...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: As I said to the House earlier, there is no doubt that conditions across the world have deteriorated sharply over the past few months. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the Government will next publish their forecast at the time of the Budget.

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: My hon. Friend is right that President-elect Obama has made it very clear that he wants a substantial stimulus to the American economy, and that that is one of the first things he will do when he is sworn in as President tomorrow. In addition, he has made it clear that the American Government need to take action on credit— [ Interruption. ] Opposition Members say from a sedentary...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: In relation to the hon. Gentleman's point about banks, it is important that we understand the nature of the exposure of the banks themselves, as well as any banks with which we enter into agreements on insurance, so that we understand the risks. I made the point earlier that I am afraid that it is necessary for the Government to take action. The action that Governments take may vary in...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: I can well understand my right hon. Friend's concern about the steel industry, which he has raised with me before. It is important that we have help available to the larger companies, and the Bank of England scheme that I announced this morning will do that. I also agree with him that it is important that we act together with other countries, because the effect of us all acting together will...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: First, in relation to the recapitalisation of the banks, there are not that many people around who would argue that we were wrong to take the action that we did. We had to do it, and we had to do it pretty quickly, because we were facing a pretty dire situation. The hon. Gentleman raises a far broader point, however, which is that over a number of years we have seen massive credit flows going...

Olympics: Financial Markets (19 Jan 2009)

Alistair Darling: As I have said, it is important that we understand the extent of the problem. I would say to my hon. Friend, however, that when there is a downturn, there will inevitably be cases in which what might have been a perfectly good loan or investment last year will, because the economic circumstances are changing, turn out to be not such a good investment, and therefore a bad asset. We are in a...


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